How to Sell Your Book on Ingram (and Why You Should)

When you self-publish a book, you have creative control over what goes into the book and how it will look. In this age of technology, you also have the power to decide how your book will be sold. This is an opportunity to think big! The choices you make around selling and distribution can profoundly impact the success of your book. How do you want to get your book into the world?

If promoting your book far and wide is a top priority, consider the advantages of using Ingram as a distributor, and follow our easy five-step guide to list your book for sale on Ingram.

If your book is already for sale on Ingram, make sure you’re getting the most out of your listing by optimizing your metadata (step 2), adding categories (step 3), and setting your wholesale discount to 55% (step 4).

Expand the Global Reach of Your Audience

Selling your book through Ingram distribution can help increase your book visibility worldwide and maximize your sales. Books listed on Ingram are now available to retailers and libraries in more countries than ever before, including China, India, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Russia. When you sell your book on Ingram, people can shop for it in over 39,000 stores and libraries. That’s a lot of potential eyes on your book!

All Blurb Trade Books Can Be Sold through Ingram

Trade Books are ideal for Ingram distribution. This popular book format includes everything from novels, memoirs, poetry, and children’s books, to travel books, cookbooks, and nonfiction of all kinds. Blurb’s book-making tools also give you the option to print in black & white or in color, so you can combine text and photos without sacrificing any content. A lower print cost per page also means higher profit margins for you, making Trade Books a beautiful and economical choice.

Simplify the Day-to-Day Process of Book Distribution

If you choose to print on demand and sell-through Ingram, your book is only printed when a customer places an order. You don’t have to calculate the number of books you want to sell in advance. This model of book-selling has completely changed the game for self-publishers! You can design the book once, and see it delivered often. Ingram allows you to sell at scale, without the hassle and risk of managing book orders yourself.

When you sell your book in the Blurb Bookstore, people can also buy your book directly. There are no listing fees involved, and you never have to worry about packing or shipping your own orders. You select how many copies to print, set a unit price, and the bookstore takes care of the rest!

If you decide to sell your books through a personal website, you are responsible for keeping books on hand, tracking every order, and shipping books to your customers. This might seem doable at first, but it can quickly turn into a huge task requiring daily vigilance and organization when your book sales take off!

Setting Up Your Book for Sale on Ingram Is Fast and Easy

#1 Make a Trade Book with Blurb’s layout tools or upload a PDF
Ready to get started? Upload your existing manuscript, build your own book with our easy layout tools, or hire an expert.

#2 Create a book listing on Ingram to optimize your metadata
The next step is to complete your author profile and write an enticing description of your book (aim for fifty words or less). All of the phrases, words, and information in your book listing serve as metadata, so be sure to include keywords that readers of your book might search for. Descriptive rather than abstract titles can also help direct your audience to buy your book. Check out more tips on how to create strong metadata.

#3 Add categories to increase your book sales
Ingram allows you to list your book for sale under three categories, which helps it show up in more searches. Adding a second category to your book’s description could generate up to 10% more sales! Visit your dashboard now to update your book’s categories.

#4 Set your wholesale discount to 55% to improve retailer visibility
This is the magic number. The only cost for Ingram distribution is the amount you choose to share with retailers (wholesale discount). It may be tempting to select a lower percentage here, but keep in mind, a higher discount on your book means broader distribution possibilities and more potential book sales. Go for the sweet spot and get even more retailers to sell your book by setting your discount at the recommended level, 55%.

#5 Set your list price to determine profit margins
As a self-publisher, you decide how much to charge for a book and how much profit you want to make. You’ll start with the cost of your book or base price. This is determined by your book specifications, such as paper and the cover type, and the unit volume of your order. Then you’ll factor in the wholesale discount (see step 4) and the profit you want to make per copy. The resulting total is the retail price (what customers pay). Handy calculation tools let you see how changing the base price or wholesale discount affects your profit margin.

Once your book is ready to be sold on Ingram, all that’s left to do is get the word out!

Ready to sell your book on Ingram? Create your book listing today!


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